Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter are reporting that Showtime are developing a sequel to its influential drama series The L Word and eyeing Jennifer Beals, Katherine Moennig and Leisha Hailey to reprise their roles.
The original series premiered in 2004, focusing on a group of lesbians in West Hollywood and their friends, family and lovers. Created by Ilene Chaiken, the series ran for six seasons and spawned a reality spinoff The Real L Word. In 2008, there was a pilot for an L Word spinoff called The Farm, set in a woman’s prison focusing on Leisha Hailey’s character Alice and revolved around another group of women, including several lesbians who are behind bars. The farm whoever wasn’t picked up for a series order.
The L Word was hailed as the first drama series to focus on lesbian characters who are complex and open about their sexuality and it’s return has been applauded by GLAAD, with GLAAD President and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis saying:
The past few years have seen lesbian and queer women characters in television killed off in shockingly high numbers. It is refreshing and exciting to see GLAAD Media Award-winning The L Word returning to television where it can tell nuanced, entertaining, and beautiful stories of an largely underrepresented community.
Ilene Chaiken will be serving as an Executive Producer on the sequel series, but won’t be hands-on with the project as she’s currently severing as Executive Producer/Showrunner on Fox’s Empire. While the search is underway for a new writer/executive producer/showrunner with ties to the lesbian community to helm the followup series and reflect how members of that community’s relationships, lives and experiences have evolved, as well as what has changed (and what hasn’t) since the show’s inception, Three of the original series cast members, Jennifer Beals, Katherine Moennig and Leisha Hailey, will be brought onboard the project as Executive Producers and, if the sequel gets a series order, their characters will return to serve as a bridge between the original and new show, whilst being surrounded by a new ensemble of women. The report does state however that other characters played by Erin Daniels, Laurel Holloman, Mia Kirshner, Sarah Shahi and Pam Grier could potentially appear in the sequel.